Course Webcasting Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use it?

For instructors: request that your class get recorded, and remember to wear your microphone while teaching.
For students: go to webcast.ucsc.edu, find your course, and watch the lecture(s) you are interested in. A guide to the interface is available.

It says I need a password.

Course lectures can be password protected at the instructor's request. Your instructor will give you the password to access the lectures.

I don't have flash installed. How do I do that?

You can download and install flash from Adobe.com. Please follow the steps on their web page to install it.

I have flash installed, but it won't run.

Some operating systems block older versions of flash that contain known security vulnerabilities. Update to the newest version of flash to resolve this.

How do get my course to be webcast?

The instructor of a course may fill our our webcasting request form to have their lecture captured. Note that your course will need to be scheduled in a room with lecture capture capability.

How long after a class ends will a webcast of it be available online?

Generally, we will have the lecture available within 10 minutes of the course ending. Some features like slide segmentation take longer than this to apply to the webcast and so these features may not be available until a few hours after the lecture is initially posed online.

Only the instructor for a course may request that their course be recorded/webcast.

I have a disability and this would be much easier for me to use if it was captioned, can you help?

Yes. While we are currently unable to caption every course we record, if you have a disability-related need for captioning we are very happy to get specific courses captioned for you. Please request this service through the Disability Resource Center's website.

I don't see any slide segmentations, where are they?

In order to deliver the webcast to you as soon as possible, we start by delivering a "rough cut" that has the video and audio, but does not include other features such as slide segmentation and text search. After the system processes the video to calculate these elements we add them to the video. This can take a few hours. If you your class just ended and you don't see segmented slides yet this is probably what's happening. If you wait, they will be added (you may need to reload the web page to see the newly segmented version).

What technology are you using?

Opencast Matterhorn. Matterhorn is an open source application for capturing and presenting classroom content created by a consortium of educational institutions. You can learn more on the Matterhorn website.

It uses Flash? Really? Flash uses up too much processing power/eats my battery/is a security risk/etc.

We did extensive research when we were looking for a technology to power the next generation of our webcasting service and, frankly, that was our first reaction when we saw this system too. However, we learned that, especially over the past few years when Matterhorn was being developed, there just wasn't a reliable way to do many of the things that this system does on the web without flash. Note that this system isn't just about playing back video, but about giving you tools to engage with the material (such as slide segmentation and slide text search). Pure HTML 5 capabilities for doing some of these things are just now starting to become viable. We, along with the Matterhorn community, realize that the use of flash is an issue, especially on mobile devices. The community is working on it and we anticipate that a future release will remove the need to use flash.

Can I use this on my mobile device?

Yes. Currently the experience is much less rich when played back on a mobile device (you only get the video and the audio, without any of the cool engagement tools) but it will work. We expect that future versions will further improve the mobile experience.

Please be aware that it requires a considerable amount of data to stream video. Depending on the details of your data plan, significant use of video over mobile may incur additional charges from your wireless provider.

How do I get help?

There is a guide to the new interface available on our website. If you have a question that is not covered in the FAQ, please contact us at webcast@ucsc.edu or put in a ticket at itrequest.ucsc.edu. We're happy to assist however we can.